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Mol Biol Evol. 2005 Mar;22(3):421-5. Epub 2004 Oct 20.

An exponential core in the heart of the yeast protein interaction network.

Author information

Computational Genomics Group, The European Bioinformatics Institute, EMBL Cambridge Outstation, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK.

Erratum in

  • Mol Biol Evol. 2005 Apr;22(4):1157.


Protein interactions in the budding yeast have been shown to form a scale-free network, a feature of other organized networks such as bacterial and archaeal metabolism and the World Wide Web. Here, we study the connections established by yeast proteins and discover a preferential attachment between essential proteins. The essential-essential connections are long ranged and form a subnetwork where the giant component includes 97% of these proteins. Unexpectedly, this subnetwork displays an exponential connectivity distribution, in sharp contrast to the scale-free topology of the complete network. Furthermore, the wide phylogenetic extent of these core proteins and interactions provides evidence that they represent the ancestral state of the yeast protein interaction network. Finally, we propose that this core exponential network may represent a generic scaffold around which organism-specific and taxon-specific proteins and interactions coalesce.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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